In front of the children we stood; two tenant participation officers and two neighbourhood wardens ready to give our presentation, probably more nervous than the children that we stood in front of.
I was certainly very nervous as it was the first time I had ever presented something to a group exceeding single digits in numbers. Adding to this they were children so they sat quite restlessly waiting for us to begin.
The idea of the presentation was to get the children involved in designing a poster to be turned into signs to be posted around Penhill to get drivers to slow down to the speed limit of 20mph.
Our first presentation was at Sevenfields Primary School. We had to adapt our language and manner to suit that which a child below the age of 11 could relate to. During our presentation they all sat quite fixed on us and what we said; we seemed to be entertaining them, keeping them engaged with loads of questions about road safety. I would like to think that in some form or another that they took in what we were saying and left that hall with a better understanding of why slow speed limits exist or at least have more respect for the fast moving vehicles that drive around the area in which they live and play.
To top it all off, we offered them a chance to get involved (which was in fact one of the main purposes of the presentation). We asked them to draw up posters individually, as bright but as plain as possible so that they could be seen by drivers. It was a struggle to bring the keen children to the present question when their minds were still on the last: ‘have you ever heard about a road collision?’ everyone had a story and all were extremely eager to share and be heard… extremely. All in all though, I would say it was a success with all completed posters picked up and being considered, we had a fair amount of participation, that’s what we are all about.
Our second presentation was at Kingsdown Secondary School. I was half expecting to relive the doom and gloom of early adolescence where every answer was a groan or sarcasm. However to my delight every teen in the presentation hall was quite happy to engage in the questions and get quite invested in the project we had asked them to do for us. It was great to see so much participation.
We have now picked up all the completed posters and will be announcing the winning ones that will be posted around the Penhill area for everyone to see; and hopefully take note of when driving around the estate.
Watch this space to find out who won!
For more information on Road Safety, please visit the: Road Safety Week website.